Borobodur Temple, Indonesia

Appreciating the Design Details of Other Cultures

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Indonesian Wood Carving Detail
Indonesian Wood Carving Detail

I recently returned from an amazing trip to Indonesia. My husband, Alex, and I went there to celebrate a major wedding anniversary (I’m not going to say which cause I will date myself – lol!). I absolutely love to travel and don’t get to do it all that often. This was the farthest we have ever gone from the US and it was a grueling 22 hours of airplane flights just to get to Jakarta from Denver. The next day we flew to Yogyakarta and stayed for 4 days at The Phoenix Hotel and explored the temples, did a batik workshop at Batik Kelik, ate lots of great street food and basically tried to soak us as much of the culture as possible in such a short period of time. After that, we flew back to Jakarta and then on to Raja Ampat, where we snorkeled the amazing reefs for 10 glorious days at Cove Eco Resort. But, enough about our itinerary. Let’s talk about incorporating travel into your interior designs.

Batik Paintings at Batik Kelik
Batik Paintings at Batik Kelik

Look for Design Details

Every place you visit has some design details that you should be able to capture and incorporate into a room. This could be through small souvenirs, photos you take, or if you have a larger budget, art or furniture you purchase in that place. In Indonesia, I was amazed by the wood carvings that could be found on elaborate doorways and even at the Yogyakarta airport. Batik fabric is a huge part of the cultural heritage of Indonesia which was why I wanted to take a workshop and learn the basics of how to create one. I won’t go into too much detail but it involves drawing or stamping with wax and then dyeing the fabric and repeating the process over and over. It is very difficult to do!! Alex and I have the batik pieces we made at the workshop that will definitely hang somewhere in my home. But, we also purchased 2 large batik paintings (so reasonable in Indonesia you wouldn’t believe it), that will be hung in more important locations. I will undoubtedly also frame photos of the stone carving details from the temples we visited and of the amazing landscapes, fish, sea and clouds we experienced in Raja Ampat.

Carvings at Borobodur in Indonesia
Stone Carvings at Borobodur

Appreciate Any Culture & Incorporate It

Incorporating these elements into my home will keep the memories of this trip alive for us. It also helps add to an eclectic and artistic feel that is unique to me and my husband. This is something you can easily do as well. Keep your eyes open as you travel for the details that make a place unique whether it be rustic pottery, elaborate wood carvings, floral fabrics, unique stained glass, etc., etc. The list is endless and each place you visit, even those close to where you live (you don’t even have to leave your own country), have their own culture personality that you can capture for yourself and bring to your home. I highly encourage you to travel to open your eyes to new people, places and things but also to help you discover design elements that speak to your heart, your memories and who you are so you can style your rooms with decorative details that are unique to you. It is life changing and can be a part of your home forever!

Amazing Raja Ampat
Beautiful Raja Ampat!



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